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Wilson, Sir Henry

Wilson, Sir Henry (1854–1922). Soldier. Wilson was unusual amongst British soldiers in that he was an ardent Francophile and enjoyed the company of politicians. Between 1910 and 1914 he served as the director of military operations at the War Office, preparing plans to send the British army to France in the event of war with Germany. When that war came he served in a variety of liaison posts in France until, in February 1918, Lloyd George dismissed Sir William Robertson and Wilson succeeded him as chief of the imperial general staff. But soon the prime minister was complaining that his new adviser was as committed to deploying the bulk of the British army on the western front as his predecessor had been. In 1922 Wilson retired from the army and became a Unionist MP for an Ulster seat, only to be murdered on his own doorstep in London by the IRA.

David French

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